Felix Odell and Chris Earl will lead Old Students Cricket Club into the next Cricket Shepparton season.
The pair was announced joint senior coaches of the club during the week, taking over from the departing Daniel Coombs.
Along with Odell and Earl stepping up, the Students also delivered the news Tim Looby and Nav Gill will return to the club for its next Haisman Shield campaign, while rising star Josh Robertson has been recruited from Mooroopna.
Although he was still eligible to play under-14s last season, keeper-batsman Robertson will challenge for the number one gloveman role at the Students as the outfit looks to nurture a new generation of champions.
Club president Tim Mac Laughlin is looking forward the watching the new partnership blossom at the helm as the Students attempt to return to the premiership-winning form of two seasons ago.
‘‘We obviously didn’t have the best of years last year (the Students won one game and finished 10th),’’ Mac Laughlin said.
‘‘But we’re looking to turn it around quickly and hopefully those two can do that with the help of a few more recruits.
‘‘We’re happy to get these guys on board and start moving back to where we were the year before.’’
Earl has been a Students stalwart for the past 15 seasons, while Odell’s four campaigns at the club have yielded an outstanding 1636 runs across all formats to give him the standing of one of the premier batsmen in the region.
‘‘We certainly know what (Chris) can bring to the table,’’ MacLaughlin said.
‘‘Felix brings a new style of coaching as well, he’s been in pretty good form, but it’s not just his form that’s impressive, he has some really good ideas.’’
MacLaughlin also had plenty of praise for his other recruits.
‘‘Josh is a very good pick up,’’ he said. ‘‘He’s a good young player and that’s what we need to be doing, bringing some younger talent through. We see him as an important senior player.
‘‘Both (Looby and Gill) will well and truly bolster our bowling stocks and you know that ‘Loobs’ is a genuine athlete and competitor, so he’ll help lift the intensity.’’
Odell is excited to add the challenge of coaching to his duties next season and hopes it will help lift his overall game to a new level.
‘‘I’m pretty excited really,’’ Odell said.
‘‘It’s a lot more responsibility which I think I’m ready for.
‘‘I’m pretty happy with the work that has been done behind the scenes in getting a few boys back and some recruits to the club.
‘‘Last year we were pretty down, but that’s just cricket, it happens.
‘‘The majority of the core group will be sticking around, so the players are pretty excited.’’
While Odell will lead from the middle of the pitch and Earl from the boundary line, the pair will have a hand in everything that goes on at the revamped Kialla Recreation Reserve during summer.
‘‘I think with both of us doing it it will be good,’’ Odell said.
‘‘We’re going to have two different perspectives with me seeing what’s going on from the field and him off it, but everything we do will be a joint partnership.
‘‘I’m just really looking forward to the season ahead.’’